Ecommerce in the DACH Region in 2023 - Fulfillment-Box Skip to main content
DACH region - Germany, Austria, Switzerland

The DACH region, which includes Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, is considered one of the most attractive regions for ecommerce in Europe. This is due to the economic stability of the region, well-developed logistics infrastructure, and widespread access to high-speed internet. However, the greatest value for entrepreneurs comes from cultural similarities and the high purchasing power of the population.

Let's take a closer look at the features and trends of ecommerce in the DACH region in 2023, so that your business can compete successfully in this market.

1. Features of Ecommerce in the DACH Region: Comparative Analysis of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland

The DACH region comprises approximately 100 million financially capable residents who prefer making online purchases. Germany boasts one of the most developed economies globally. Nevertheless, Austria and Switzerland are not far behind in terms of their residents' purchasing power.

A significant portion of their income is directed towards online shopping. Online sales in the region continue to grow annually. For comparison, in 2019, the volume of online sales in Germany reached 59.2 billion euros, while in 2023, this figure has reached 84.5 billion euros.

If you look at the table below, you will understand that the DACH region is a profitable market for online sales. The table covers all the important aspects of ecommerce development in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

Purchasing Power LevelAs of the beginning of 2023, the purchasing power level of the population has slightly declined due to the increase in energy prices. However, it still remains one of the highest in Europe and ranks 3rd among German-speaking countries.Austria is a country with a high standard of living and, consequently, a high level of purchasing power. In the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) ranking, Austria ranks 8th with an average annual income of Austrian families at 35,000 EUR before taxes.Despite its relatively small size compared to Germany and Austria, Switzerland boasts an annual per capita purchasing power level of nearly 50,000 euros, which is considered one of the highest in the world.
International MarketGermany is a member of the European Union, which allows it to utilize the entire EU space for online commerce without paying customs duties. For all imported goods from non-EU countries, value-added tax (VAT) is levied, except for goods with a value less than 1 euro.Austria is also part of the EU and has similar tax rules. However, attention to customs issues when importing goods is still necessary.Switzerland is not a part of the European Union, and this can create customs and tax complexities for online retailers selling goods from abroad. However, the country has free trade agreements with the EU, which facilitate the movement of goods.
Mobile Online ShoppingGermans prefer to make online purchases through mobile devices.If in previous years desktop devices dominated online shopping in Austria, there is a slight preference for mobile online shopping in 2023, especially in the capital, Vienna.Swiss consumers prefer both mobile online shopping and shopping through desktop devices.
Payment SystemsIn Germany, cash payments are still widely used. However, for online orders, Germans prefer electronic payments such as PayPal.Online banking and electronic payment systems are widely prevalent in Austria. In 2023, PayPal emerged as the leader among payment services in Austria.Switzerland is renowned for its banking sector and high level of trust in electronic payment systems. For online purchases, the Swiss prefer to use bank transfers and credit cards.
Data Protection and SecurityGermany has strict data protection and privacy laws, such as the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). This means that retailers are required to adhere to high standards of confidentiality and the processing of their customers' data.The GDPR applies to all EU members, including Austria. Additionally, the country has adopted a new internal data protection regulation called Datenschutzgesetz (abbreviated as DSG), which complements the provisions of the GDPR.Switzerland is a major financial center. Banking and access to the luxury market segment, such as watches and jewelry, require a high level of data confidentiality and security.
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Delivery and LogisticsGermany boasts one of the most modern and extensive transportation networks in the world. It includes high-speed highways, railways, ports, and airports. This diversity of transportation routes enables the efficient movement of goods within the country and beyond. The German delivery service DHL is considered one of the leading logistics providers in the world.Transport companies in Austria are highly regarded worldwide for their customer-oriented approach. The country has developed infrastructure for land, water, and air transport, ensuring good connectivity between different regions and convenience for logistics operations. Furthermore, Austria, like Germany, is a strategically important transportation hub in the heart of Europe, making it an ideal location for the distribution of goods throughout Europe.The highest density of railway networks, extensive roadways, and a network of 60 airports enable transport companies to quickly and easily move goods within the country and internationally.

If you look at the table below, you will understand that the DACH region is a profitable market for online sales. The table covers all the important aspects of ecommerce development in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

Analyzing the data, we can identify the following competitive advantages of the DACH region in ecommerce:

  • Economic stability and high purchasing power of residents.
  • High level of internet connectivity.
  • Presence of the world's largest online marketplaces.
  • Strategic location of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland in the heart of Europe.
  • Developed transportation infrastructure in the region.
  • Growth of mobile online shopping.
  • Advancements in electronic payment systems.
  • Stringent consumer data protection requirements.

All these factors indicate that the DACH region remains a promising market for the development of ecommerce. However, to compete successfully in this region, companies must be prepared to adapt to local nuances, comply with laws and standards, and provide high-quality products and services.

2. Leading Ecommerce Platforms in the DACH Region

If in 2015 there were only two global-scale popular marketplaces in the DACH region, Amazon and eBay, by 2023, they may face competition even from local online platforms. In 2023, residents of the region prefer to make purchases through the following online platforms:

  • Amazon: a key player in ecommerce in the DACH region. Second only to the United States, Germany ranks second in terms of online sales volume through the Amazon platform. The online marketplace offers a wide range of products, from cloud services to groceries.
  • eBay: one of the oldest and most recognized auction marketplaces in the world. In the DACH region, is a popular place for buying and selling various items, including collectibles and used goods. 40% of the top 50 online stores in Germany sell their products through this platform.
  • Zalando: the largest online retailer of clothing and footwear in the DACH region. With a wide range of products and a convenient return policy, Zalando attracts a large number of shoppers. In Germany, it is one of the best-selling online clothing stores.
  • Otto: one of the most well-known online retailers in Germany and the DACH region as a whole. It specializes in fashion, electronics, and home goods. In 2022-2023, the company's worldwide online sales reached 16.19 billion euros, with 9 billion euros in profit coming from sales in Germany.
  • Etsy: a popular online marketplace specializing in handmade, vintage items, unique gifts, and products for artisans. In the DACH region, where quality and originality are valued, Etsy continues to attract both sellers and buyers.

All of these marketplaces offer sellers the opportunity to reach a wide audience of buyers and provide them with a variety of products and services. Fulfillment-Box, in turn, can ensure convenient and efficient order fulfillment for a range of local marketplaces, such as Amazon, eBay, Otto, and Kaufland.

3. Key Trends in the Development of E-commerce in the DACH Region in 2023

According to the Federal Association of Ecommerce in Germany (BEVH), online sales volumes in the first quarter of 2023 dropped by 15% compared to the previous year. Despite this, ecommerce in the region continues to operate at a high level. Germany remains the largest ecommerce market in Europe. Let's examine the key trends in e-commerce in 2023.

  • Growth in Online Shopping: According to forecasts, ecommerce will continue to demonstrate steady growth in all three countries of the region. Residents are increasingly making purchases of goods and services online.
  • Mobile Commerce: Mobile devices are becoming one of the primary channels for online shopping. Developing mobile apps and optimizing websites for mobile devices are becoming a priority for businesses.
  • Personalization and AI: In the modern online business landscape, AI has reached a new level. Companies will increasingly utilize artificial intelligence and data analytics to personalize offerings and enhance the user experience.
  • Environmental Sustainability: Among consumers, there is a growing interest in sellers who prioritize environmental concerns. This is reflected in their packaging choices or efforts to reduce carbon emissions in order deliveries.
  • Payment Solutions: The development of new payment methods and digital currencies will make the payment process even more secure and convenient.
  • Logistics Innovations: Delivery plays a crucial role for online retailers. Germany, being a technologically advanced country, has the potential to enhance logistics and implement new technologies for fast and high-quality delivery.

These trends indicate that the DACH region continues to be a dynamic and promising market for ecommerce. To remain competitive in this region, companies operating here must be prepared to adapt to changing consumer preferences and leverage modern technologies.

4. Fulfillment Services in the DACH Region

Indeed, ecommerce in the DACH region is rapidly evolving thanks to high internet connectivity, the purchasing power of the population, and the presence of global marketplaces in the market. In such a favorable environment, internet retailers are competing to gain the advantage of being among the first.

One of the primary requirements for leadership, which residents of the DACH region are most demanding of, is fast, reliable, and affordable delivery. This condition is increasing the popularity of fulfillment services among internet retailers. Third-party providers take care of all the processes related to warehousing and logistics, allowing their clients to focus on promoting their business.

The company Fulfillment-Box possesses all the necessary tools and resources for successful online trading in the DACH region:

  • Presence of Warehouses in Strategically Important Locations: Fulfillment-Box has two warehouses in Germany and one in Austria, ensuring optimal coverage of the DACH region. You will be able to store your products closer to end consumers and, consequently, deliver orders more quickly and cost-effectively.
  • Mobile: Mobile devices are becoming one of the primary channels for online shopping. Developing mobile apps and optimizing websites for mobile devices are becoming a priority for businesses.
  • Professional Product Packaging: The company offers professional product packaging services, ensuring that products are maximally protected from damage during transportation.
  • Order Customization: Fulfillment-Box offers the option to customize orders according to the customer's needs and requirements. This includes adding inserts, gifts, or samples to the order.
  • Advanced Software Solutions: The company offers automated solutions for order management, inventory tracking, and returns processing. This will allow you to focus more on business growth rather than operational tasks. The ability to integrate with leading platforms and marketplaces in the DACH region will help increase brand visibility and expand your audience.
  • Returns Processing: The company ensures efficient returns processing, helping clients satisfy consumers and maintain a high level of trust.

2023 continues to witness stable growth in the DACH region, attracting both local and international online retailers. Despite the competitive environment, it offers numerous opportunities for businesses, taking into account the peculiarities of the countries. Considering current trends and future prospects, businesses that adapt to the evolving consumer demands and technological changes will be able to successfully enter and strengthen their position in this dynamic market.

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Julia Gordon

AuthorJulia Gordon

Head of the Fulfillment-Box Prep Centers network

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